Halfway to Las Vegas

The American Falls

I know that some Canadians like to brag that the better view of the falls at Niagara is on the Canadian side. However, looking out my hotel window at the American falls, I notice that it’s possible to walk on the islands right in between the falls — all the way up to the sheer drop of the escarpment. And I have to tell you that this has me tempted to cross over to the American side briefly to walk on those islands. I’m not sure how brave you’d have to be, though.

We haven’t gotten our replacement Canadian passports yet (Rosemarie’s got her replacement American passport, so don’t worry), so we won’t do it.

I’m writing this from the 21st floor of the Fallsview Hilton Resort and Casino, where we’ve bundled ourselves off to for something of a spontaneous 37th birthday present for me. The place is ludicrously posh, and offers a view of both the city and the falls (the American falls, anyway) for a ludicrously low price of $179. This price includes a complimentary dinner for two in their rooftop restaurant, and a complementary buffet breakfast for two as well. A far more reasonable price for far better service and surroundings than we were able to score at our Chicago hotel. But I guess it goes to show the advantage of coming to a town with (a) a plethora of hotel space and (b) before the start of the major tourist season.

Niagara Falls is as beautiful as ever. We’re looking forward to taking our free shuttle to the falls, and possibly to riding the ferris wheel. And the service here is wonderful.

Still, the city remains unsure of itself. Slightly seedy low-rise motels rub shoulders with the new glitzy towers, and as busy as the casino is, I can’t help but notice the plethora of open space between the buildings, and not all of it for parking, either. The city seems to be trying to aim itself at becoming Canada’s Las Vegas. From what I can see, it remains depressed as a place to actually live.

Still, a good place to visit, all things considered.

The Rest of Niagara Falls

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